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Demystifying WhatsApp Business API Pricing: A Comprehensive Guide for 2023

In the realm of business communication, WhatsApp has emerged as a powerful tool. While the WhatsApp Business App is free, navigating the pricing structure of WhatsApp Business API can be complex. To ensure businesses are well-informed and avoid unnecessary expenses, this blog post will elucidate the current WhatsApp Business API pricing model, additional costs, and guide you to the most cost-effective WhatsApp API partner for your business needs.

Understanding WhatsApp API Pricing in 2023

The WhatsApp Business App is straightforward – it’s free to use. However, when it comes to WhatsApp API, the scenario is different. In this section, we’ll delve into the intricacies of WhatsApp API pricing.

WhatsApp API Access and Hosting Options

For businesses to utilize the WhatsApp API, the first step is obtaining API access. The cost of this access hinges on the hosting type chosen: WhatsApp On-premises API or WhatsApp Cloud API.

The WhatsApp On-premises API is typically hosted on a Business Solution Provider’s (BSP) server. BSPs exercise control over charges, including WhatsApp API access fees, hosting, and other related costs.

Conversely, the WhatsApp Cloud API is hosted on Meta’s cloud servers. Businesses can acquire access through WhatsApp BSPs or directly from Meta.

How much is WhatsApp Business API? The total WhatsApp business price depends on the items above

Comprehensive Breakdown of WhatsApp Business API Costs

Given that APIs lack user interfaces, integration with a messaging software is imperative for sending and receiving messages. These messages are charged based on a conversation-based pricing model. The WhatsApp Business API encompasses three main costs: BSP fees, WhatsApp conversation charges, and messaging software costs.

WhatsApp Business API Pricing in 2023: Understanding Conversation Rates

In 2023, the WhatsApp Business API continues to be an essential tool for companies across various departments. To ensure smooth and prompt communication, the pricing model is centered around a 24-hour customer service window. There are two distinct categories, each with its own pricing structure:

1. User-initiated Conversations (Service Conversations):

These conversations are initiated when customers send the first message. The conversation charge is applied when a business responds within the 24-hour customer service window. Regardless of the number of messages exchanged within this window, there are no additional charges.

2. Business-initiated Conversations:

These are messages that a business initiates to either start or continue a conversation outside of the 24-hour customer service window. However, such conversations can only be initiated using pre-approved message templates. These templates can be customized with placeholders, media headers, Quick Reply, and Call-to-Action buttons, adhering to WhatsApp’s template guidelines.

The two conversation types under the current WhatsApp Business pricing model

It’s important to note that conversation rates may vary based on the user’s country code. In this context, a WhatsApp user refers to customers who send a message to a business.

Each WhatsApp Business Account (WABA) receives 1,000 free conversations per month, which can be either user-initiated or business-initiated conversations. As of June 1, 2023, the 1,000 free conversations will be limited to service conversations.

For businesses with multiple numbers linked to their WABA account, the 1,000 free conversations will be shared among all associated numbers.

As of March 1, 2023, businesses will not be charged for conversations initiated by users via click-to-WhatsApp ads or Facebook Page call-to-action buttons. Additionally, the 24-hour customer service window will be extended to 72 hours when customers message through these free entry points. During this extended window, all messages sent, including WhatsApp template messages, are free.

WhatsApp API Pricing: Service Conversations

Service conversations, or user-initiated conversations, are triggered by customers. WhatsApp charges businesses only when they respond to these messages within the 24-hour window. Once a customer sends a message, a 24-hour customer service window opens, allowing businesses to send any type of message within that timeframe. If businesses send message templates during this service conversation, they will be charged for business-initiated conversations.

WhatsApp API Pricing: Business-Initiated Conversations

Initially, WhatsApp message templates were limited to transactional or utility notifications to prevent spam. However, WhatsApp has expanded the categories to include marketing and authentication. Starting June 1, 2023, the three business-initiated conversation categories are marketing, utility, and authentication conversations.

WhatsApp message template categories

  • Marketing Conversations: These may include promotional offers, product announcements, informational updates, and invitations for customer action or response.
  • Utility Conversations: These keep customers updated with important information such as account and order updates, transaction confirmations, and post-purchase notifications.
  • Authentication Conversations: These facilitate secure account access by sending customers verification codes or one-time passwords during account verification, recovery, or integrity challenges.

Conversation charges differ based on the message template category. When a template is delivered, a new conversation of that category is opened and businesses are charged according to that category.

If a business sends message templates from different categories within an ongoing business-initiated conversation, they will be charged separately based on the conversation categories involved. However, sending multiple templates of the same category will not result in additional charges.

If a business sends a template message in an ongoing service conversation or replies to a customer with a template message, a new conversation based on the template category will be initiated. Note that this does not apply when replying to messages that come from the free entry points discussed earlier.

Factors Affecting Conversation Charges

Several factors can influence how conversations are charged:

  1. Customer’s Country Code: Conversation fees may vary based on the country code of the customer. WhatsApp uses the customer’s country calling code and network prefix to determine their country.
  1. Conversation Category: Conversations are charged based on the initiated category. For instance, a utility conversation message template will incur a utility conversation fee.
  1. Entry Point: When a customer messages via a Click to WhatsApp Ad or Facebook Page Call-to-Action button using a device running iOS or Android, a 72-hour Free Entry Point conversation will begin. To open this, businesses must respond within 24 hours.

WhatsApp Business Pricing by Partner

BSPs offer different pricing models based on hosting types. Those with WhatsApp On-Premises API incur WhatsApp API fees and server-related costs, which are then passed on to end-users with a markup.

The different charges between BSPs that offer WhatsApp On-Premises API and WhatsApp Cloud API

In contrast, BSPs offering WhatsApp Cloud API face fewer fees as Meta provides free WhatsApp API access and hosts WhatsApp on its servers. This leads to lower costs for both BSPs and end-users.

Popular WhatsApp BSPs and Their Pricing Models

1. Leadshouse WhatsApp Business API: Free WhatsApp API Access

Leadshouse, a recognized WhatsApp BSP and conversation management software, provides free WhatsApp API access. They operate on the WhatsApp Cloud API, eliminating setup, per conversation, or per message fees.

WhatsApp Cloud API pricing: Leadshouse WhatsApp Business API pricing

2. MessageBird WhatsApp API Pricing: Markup per Message

MessageBird adds a markup fee of $0.005 per session message sent by businesses on top of WhatsApp conversation charges.

MessageBird WhatsApp pricing in a nutshell

3. Twilio WhatsApp API Pricing: Per-Message

Twilio maintains a per-message pricing model, charging a $0.005 flat fee per message sent and received, in addition to WhatsApp conversation charges.

Whatsapp Pricing Twilio: Twilio WhatsApp Business API pricing in a nutshell

4. 360dialog WhatsApp API Pricing: Monthly Plans

360dialog offers three monthly plans for WhatsApp API access, ranging from $53 to $218. They also require a hosting fee, starting from $20 per month. However, they do not add markup fees on messages sent or received.

360dialog WhatsApp Business API pricing in a nutshell

It’s important for businesses to carefully consider these pricing models and choose a BSP that aligns with their specific needs and budget.

WhatsApp Business API Pricing by Use Case

The final WhatsApp API cost depends on the use case

Conversation-based Pricing for Sales Teams

Sales teams typically initiate conversations upon acquiring a lead. These interactions are often business-initiated, incurring a higher cost compared to service conversations.

WhatsApp API: Charges to expect for sales teams

With the provision of 1,000 complimentary monthly conversations, the current pricing model of WhatsApp API favors businesses with lower sales volumes but higher profit margins per sale. Such enterprises engage in fewer conversations per month but generate substantial revenue from each.

Optimizing WhatsApp Business Pricing for Sales

To optimize costs, sales teams should consider opting for a Monthly Active Conversations (MAC) plan or a monthly plan. These plans can substantially reduce charges associated with WhatsApp business accounts.

Conversation-based Pricing for Support Teams

Support teams play a pivotal role in swiftly addressing customer inquiries. Given that their interactions predominantly involve responding to inbound messages, they benefit from service conversation pricing.

WhatsApp levies charges for only one message in a service conversation if replied to within 24 hours. This window enables support teams to resolve customer inquiries without worrying about the number of messages exchanged.

WhatsApp API: Charges to expect for support teams

Mitigating Charges for Support Teams

However, if resolutions extend beyond the 24-hour threshold, WhatsApp introduces additional charges for user or business-initiated conversations. It is imperative for support agents to exercise discretion in responding to relevant inbound messages and refrain from engaging with spam or irrelevant content to prevent incurring unnecessary costs.

Furthermore, automated greeting and away messages should be used judiciously. Sending an automated response in reaction to the first customer message incurs service conversation charges.

Conversation-based Pricing for Marketing Teams

Marketing teams employ WhatsApp to broadcast promotional messages to their target audiences. Each message dispatched by a marketing team is classified as a business-initiated conversation, which can be cost-intensive under the current WhatsApp Business pricing structure.

WhatsApp API: Charges to expect for marketing teams

Optimizing WhatsApp Business Pricing for Marketing

While subsequent messages after the initial business-initiated one do not entail additional costs, businesses must exercise prudence to avoid spamming, as WhatsApp has stringent policies against such practices. Marketing teams can also explore choosing a Business Solution Provider (BSP) that does not levy a markup fee per message sent to save on costs.

Conversation-based Pricing for Operational Technical Implementors

Operational technical implementors, primarily engineers, rely on WhatsApp to dispatch transactional notifications for tasks such as confirming payments or resetting passwords. These notifications are categorized as business-initiated conversations, incurring a higher cost.

WhatsApp API: Charges to expect for operational technical implementors

Mitigating Costs for Technical Implementors

Given that transactional notifications are not triggered by a customer’s message, they fall under the category of business-initiated conversations, which are more expensive. Thus, it is advisable to select a BSP that does not impose additional charges for messages.

Choosing the Right BSP for Your Business

While it is inevitable for businesses to incur conversation charges when using WhatsApp API, additional fees imposed by certain BSPs can be avoided. Unlike other providers, Leadshouse does not impose setup fees, hosting fees, or markups per message or conversation.

For businesses seeking a WhatsApp BSP that also offers messaging software, signing up with Leadshouse provides free WhatsApp API access. This enables businesses to leverage all of WhatsApp’s features, including sending broadcasts, setting up interactive messages, and streamlining business processes with advanced automation.


Understanding the nuances of WhatsApp API pricing and the associated costs for various use cases is crucial for businesses seeking to optimize their communication strategies. By choosing the right BSP and employing strategic messaging practices, companies can harness the full potential of WhatsApp Business API without incurring unnecessary expenses. Visit our website today!


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